They found the old man slumped in an armchair, a Polaroid camera clutched in his lap, a photo hanging from the picture exit slot like a tongue. How he'd died no one could say, though a broken radiator lurked suspiciously in the corner of the freezing cold, dark little room.
The beam of the officer’s flashlight caught dust motes in suspended animation, the circle of light revealing thousands of instant photos pasted from floor to ceiling on every wall.
They came to take the photos later, peeling them one by one from their timeworn places, inadvertently playing out the old man’s life in reverse like a silent movie.
Tears on a wrinkled face, a casket and flowers, an old lady in a hospital bed, a camper van in snow, a laughing bride and groom, a tall boy kissing a blushing girl, a high school football game… a grinning little boy surrounded by Christmas wrapping, a Polaroid camera clutched in his lap.